Government Support


The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

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Restart grant (April 2021)

The government will provide 'restart grants' in England of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses, and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.

The primary principle of the Restart Grant scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises.

  • The Restart Grant will support non-essential retail premises (a property that is used mainly or wholly for the purpose of retail sale, or hire of goods & services to the public) with one-off grants of up to £6,000 in Strand One of the Restart Grant.
  • The Restart Grant will also support with one-off grants of up to £18,000 in Strand Two of the Restart Grant the following :
    • Hospitality (a venue whose main function is to provide for the consumption & sale of food & drink),
    • Accommodation (a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel & other purposes)
    • Leisure (a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for  culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out)
    • Personal care (a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing)
    • Gym & Sports (a commercial or non-profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally)

Applicants must be business rated. This means that you receive a business rates bill in the business name and the business must be classified as one of the sectors listed in the government guidance.

The scheme closes to applicants on 30th June 2021.

For details on eligability and how to apply please see

Roadmap out of lockdown

From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.

In implementing this plan the Goverment will be guided by data, not dates, so that we do not risk a surge in infections that would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. For that reason, all the dates in the roadmap are indicative and subject to change. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the scientific data to reflect the changes in restrictions and to be analysed; followed by one week’s advance notice of the restrictions that will be eased.

Only when the government is sure that it is safe to move from one step to the next will the final decision be made. The decision will be based on four tests:

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

UK Roadmap Step 1 and 2

UK Roadmap Step 3 and 4

Budget 2021

The Chancellor has provided the budget for 2021 and beyond, updating the country on new measures required to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and future changes to tax to pay for them.

Jobs, business support and investment in economic growth were the key themes of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget as he announced the government’s ‘three-part plan to protect jobs and livelihoods of British people’

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The scheme has now been extended until the end of September 2021. The details of the furlough scheme will remain the same until the end of June, before employers will be required to contribute 10% of a worker’s salary in July, and then 20% in August and September

Employees will see no change.

Recovery Loan Scheme

Recovery Loan Scheme will also be introduced, which will provide loans between £25,000 and £10 million to help businesses through the recovery from the pandemic

Self Employed Income Support (SEISS)

4th and 5th Stage grants will be made available.

This will be scaled based on the drop in turnover seen with the amount received reduced.

Self-employed with over a 30% reduction in turnover will receive an 80% under the terms of the previous grant scheme.

Self employed with less than a 30% reduction will receive 30%.

Those who submitted a tax return for 19/20 can now claim the 4th and 5th stage grants.


Reduced VAT of 5% for hospitality and leisure is to be held for further 6 months with an interim VAT rate of 12.5% to be introduced in April next year.

VAT rate and registration threshold to remain frozen until April 2026.

VAT for Hospitality and Leisure

The 5% reduced VAT rate for hospitality and leisure has been extended by 6 months.

A 12.5% interim rate will then be introduced for a further 6 months with the 20% standard rate reintroduced in April next year.

Business Rates

100% business rate holiday to continue until the end of June 2021.

For the remaining nine months of the year, business rates will be discounted by two thirds, up to a value of £2million for closed businesses.

Corporation Tax

From April 2023 Corporation Tax will be increased to 25%.

Businesses with £50,000 or less profit will remain at a rate of 19%.

There will be a taper in place for businesses with profit above £50,000, going up to £250,000 of profit.

Profits above £250,000 will be taxed at 25%.

Tax treatment of losses

Businesses to now be able to carry back tax losses of up to £2million for 3 years.

Business Investment “Super Deduction”

When companies invest in capital equipment, they will be able to reduce their tax bill by 130% of the cost.

Apprenticeships and training

The government has doubled the payment to businesses hiring apprentices to £3,000, regardless of age, and a new £7 million“flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England programme will be introduced, allowing apprentices to work across multiple projects with different employers in one sector. An additional £126 million was pledged to create 40,000 more traineeships, funding high-quality work placements and training for 16-24 year-olds in the 2021/22 academic year.

A new Help to Grow scheme will offer up to 130,000 companies a digital and management boost while a new UK-wide management programme will upskill 30,000 SMEs over three years. 

Government support & Information

Funding and support

Self-employed people and sole traders

Your responsibilities as an employer

Managing your business during coronavirus


Business closures


Most business membership and support organisations are trying to disseminate the most up-to-date information on Government and other support measures as soon as it becomes available. This information is normally available to both members and non-members please use the links below:

British Chambers of Commerce – National Chamber of Commerce

Surrey Chamber of Commerce 
– local Surrey Chamber of Commerce

Enterprise M3 - Local Enterprise Partnership (Public/Private Partnership)

Institute of Directors – Membership Organisation for Company Directors

Confederation of British Industry – Represents British larger businesses 

Federation of Small Businesses 
– Represents British micro and small businesses

Enterprise Nation – organisation supporting micro and small businesses

ACAS - The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

Information for employees and employers

ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff during this time. Find out more on

Association of British Insurers – representing British Insurance sector

Security tips for businesses

If you have been instructed by the government to close your business in line with the Covid-19 guidance or you have chosen to close, it is a good time for you to review your security to reduce the chances of your premises being targeted by opportunist thieves, or your business being subjected to cyber attacks.

Secured by Design, the Police Digital Security Centre and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office have put together the Top 10 Security Tips for Closed Business Premises, the Top 10 Cyber Security Tips for Working at Home and the latest Counter Terrorism advice following the launch of a new app. Download here.

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